NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

Election Fairness and Government Legitimacy in Afghanistan

Eli Berman, Michael J. Callen, Clark Gibson, James D. Long

NBER Working Paper No. 19949
Issued in March 2014
NBER Program(s):DEV, POL

International development agencies invest heavily in institution building in fragile states, including expensive interventions to support democratic elections. Yet little evidence exists on whether elections enhance the domestic legitimacy of governments. Using the random assignment of an innovative election fraud-reducing intervention in Afghanistan, we find that decreasing electoral misconduct improves multiple survey measures of attitudes toward government, including: (1) whether Afghanistan is a democracy; (2) whether the police should resolve disputes; (3) whether members of parliament provide services; and (4) willingness to report insurgent behavior to security forces.

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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w19949

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